07.01.17 Tupiza, Bolivia to Humahuaca, Argentina
Well, the day did not start that well. We thought it had, we had a nice chat with a group of 5 Brazilian motorcyclists that had also stayed at the same hostal. They were riding up to Machu Picchu and doing a round trip taking in some Dakar stages before returning to Brazil. They were extremely friendly.
We were trying to be away by 8 am, as we wanted to get to the border early. We had heard it could be adifficult and time consuming one. However, we were trapped in the parking area by the Brazilian bikes, and after chatting well…… it was a little later than that.
Still, off we toddled, gently away up the road, admiring the view when a car came racing up beside us. Paul said ‘that’s the guy from the hostal’, and we both wondered what we had forgotten as he pulled off in front of us. He had been a very friendly guy, but when he got out of the car his face was like thunder ‘you didn’t pay’ he shouted in Spanish. Oh no! How awful, with the getaway we had entirely forgotten. I suppose there could also be the bother of that sometimes we pay at the beginning, sometimes at the end,sometimes with card, or with cash. This had been a cash only establishment, so the guy had no means of getting our money and he thought we’d done a runner. Of course, it was easily amended by paying (hmm, perhaps a fair bit more than we thought the bill was), but we were very embarrassed and apologetic.
Once that was over, we both rode away feeling stupid and not very nice, but hopefully the guy will know it wasn’t deliberate.
Villazon where we were to cross the border seemed to arrive very quickly, and we were followed to the crossing by a couple of other guys on BMW motorbikes. They too were Brazilian Father and Son, and had been touring around together, before now making their way back to Brazil. The father was very excitable and wanted lots of photos with the bike, with me, with Paul and his son. They were very nice and told us where to go to get the papers done, and even offered me suncream, as the sun had become dazzlingly hot by this point.
As usual the queue of people needing to go through migration was tremendous, but somehow Paul bypassed this and managed to get us stamped out of Bolivia, the bike out, us into Argentina and the bike in within an hour and a half. The only difference here to the other borders was that the Aduana customs people actually looked inside our panniers. This is because you’re not allowed to bring food into Argentina.
So we were allowed to ‘vamos’ fairly quickly, turn our clocks one forward (we are now only 3 hours behind home), and rode onto our destination, the beautiful town of Humahuaca, where we are staying in a tranquil hostal, with beautiful plants and lovely people. This must be the quietest place we have been for 3 ½ months. Amazing.